OP Aquatics Helps Local Families

Ocean Pines Aquatics is once again working to spread holiday cheer to area families in need with its annual “Angel Tree” program.

Housed at the indoor Sports Core Pool, located at 11144 Cathell Road in Ocean Pines, the tree is decorated with angel tags containing the holiday wishes of six children from two local families.

Ocean Pines Aquatics has participated in Worcester County GOLD’s (“Giving Other Lives Dignity”) “Helping Hands for the Holidays” program for the past four years to obtain the names of the families. The non-profit organization works to improve the quality of life of local citizens for whom traditional means of well-being support is not fully available. It promotes dignity by providing financial aid for families in crisis, vulnerable adults and children in foster care.

“We have such a giving community and I have seen it at work time and time again when there are others in need,” said Ocean Pines Aquatics Director Colby Phillips.

Area residents are encouraged to remove an angel ornament from the tree at the Sports Core Pool and purchase the appropriate gift for the child or children described on the tag. Wrapped gifts should be returned to the Sports Core Pool by Dec. 15.

“The community has really come together each year to help us spread joy and love to some local families in need.  As someone who gets to go when the items are dropped off, I can say that the feeling is very emotional, one of pure joy at seeing the impact and difference that is made by the generosity of others,” Phillips said.

Phillips is also helping Santa respond to his mail this year. Parents may email her at santaphillips@yahoo.com with their children’s names and addresses to receive a personalized letter, written by Phillips, from “Santa.” Local children are also welcome to drop off written letters to Santa in the red North Pole mailbox located at the Ocean Pines Community Center at 235 Ocean Parkway.

Ocean Pines Aquatics hosts a variety of aquatic fitness classes, swim lessons and special events year-round, including the 10th annual “Swim with Santa” on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Sports Core Pool. The event, which is open to the public, is $6 for swimmers and $3 for non-swimmers.

For more information about Ocean Pines aquatic events, call 410-641-5255 or visit www.OceanPines.org.

For more information about the Ocean Pines community, contact Denise Sawyer, director of public relations and marketing for the Ocean Pines Association, at (410) 641-7717 ext. 3006 or dsawyer@oceanpines.org.

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